Match preview: Aston Villa v Hull City

Something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new – there’s a real hope that the 2017/18 will deliver some much needed marital bliss for Aston Villa.

Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce. Pic: Ben Sutherland

Steve Bruce kicks off his first full season in charge at B6 knowing that promotion will be expected if not demanded.

But in the shape of Hull City there’ll definitely be an ex in the room on Saturday (August 5th) as the Villa boss takes his new partner to meet his old flame.

Twitter riddles aside, there’s no doubting chairman Dr Tony Xia has backed his man again this summer allowing Bruce to get in his something borrowed in the shape of goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and his something blue with John Terry – a deal that former B6 favourite Dean Saunders branded “the signing of the summer”.

There’s also plenty of new faces Villa fans will be keen to see make their mark this season, including the wing trickery of Ahmed Elmohamady, the midfield grit of Glenn Whelan and then physical presence of Chris Samba, who is certain to pose be a useful acquisition at both ends of the field.

Saturday’s opponents have had a somewhat different summer with a significant number of departures, including former Villa duo Curtis Davies and Shaun Maloney, while keeper Eldin Jakupovic and centre back Harry Maguire have both jumped ship for Leicester. There’s also the loss of full back Josh Tympn and midfield lynchpin Tom Huddlestone which may leave the Tigers somewhat toothless.

There have been some arrivals at troubled Hull City, who are now managed by Russian coach Leonid Slutski. Liverpool’s Kevin Stewart and Sparta Prague’s Ondrej Mazuch will hope to sure up the middle of the park, while Fraizer Campbell will hope to rediscover his form of old in front of goal.

The history books give Villa the edge over Hull, with the B6 side having won 12 of the previous 24 league meetings, while Hull have been victorious on six occasions.

The last time the two sides met was back in February 2015 as goals fro Nikita Jelavic and Dame N’Doye gave Hull a 2-0 win. That came on the back of a 2-1 triumph for Villa earlier in the same season as Gabby Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann were on target.

The bookies are certain of who they’re backing this time around though, with Bruce’s men at 11/10 while the Tigers are sitting at 3/1 to bag all three points.

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